Artists Statement

I paint as often and as much as I can. I take classes when I can afford it, but the money usually goes to buy more art supplies. This blog is to share the results with you! I am a Work in Progress.

Dianne Lanning Fine

Friday, September 24, 2010

Out in the garden again

Oleanders are all over here in Northern California they are all along some of the freeways. This one, however is in my garden. It was supposed to be a dwarf, but like the lemon tree in the back garden, it got out of hand. After many truly awful attempts at painting them, this one came out more presentable. The answer seemed to be in simplifying, not only the background, but the flowers as well. I left 3 or 4 blossoms, in various stages of bloom, out. In some cases things come out too light, but lately I had been trying to pour in too much color. Some of the watercolor books, after reviewing, gave me some pointers.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quelle Surprise! Well, anyway, I found an old sketchbook!

The Quelle Surprise was because when I started typing it was converting to Hindi. I finally found how to get it to stop. I thought I was enabling people to translate my blog into their language, but it was translating my typing only into languages in India.
Now to the Anyway part. I found an old
sketch book from last fall and winter. It was full, but I thought I'd see what could scan.

This first one was a commission from late last winter. As I've said, I record books at recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic and they were having a Record-a-thon to get more readers and directors. They asked if I could do a picture of a child reading a book with earphones on. They record for all levels, but it's really good if they can start with the very young so the kids are never left behind in their education. This was a sort of final preliminary sketch. I did a 16X24 watercolor for the office and I am delighted to say it's still hanging there.

Next: are two friends from southern California modeling period caps I made. This is why I don't do portraits. I modify things. I changed them so radically they would not recognize themselves. The idea was to create characters that would be wearing this sort of cap. The one below was supposed to be my idea of Jane Austen, the other I made older, trying for a lot of character. I probably shou
ld have used older models, but how do you ask that? Friends are willing and put up with a lot. They understand, or just sigh and are patient. God love them!

I am currently working on Challenge 12 from Rookie Painter and the apple picture from Paint and Draw Together. The apple is fighting back.

OK, if I ever get control of that apple and finish the leaf circle, I'll upload those, and wait for suggestions!
Love to all!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Practice, Practice, Practice

It's interesting how things turn out. Some people think you just get out there and sing a song, or paint a picture, or play a scene, or the violin. OR write a symphony? No. There are times when it seems to "happen." But behind that over-night success is years of preparation. Often people who are not in the arts think their own profession takes study, practice, and experience but the arts don't. I remember a noted stage actor on a chat show saying that it's the only field where everybody else thinks you just get up and do it. He said he could be sitting in the dentist's chair and the dentist says he's thought of being an actor. Picture that in reverse. Would you just decide one day that you're going to open a dental practice? It's easy too.

Yes, inspiration comes and you have wonderful results. But no one should attempt to dance Odette without training and practice. Yes, first it must be something within us, that truly is given to us each, but then we must exercise that talent, train it, direct it and polish it. That is a form of gratitude.
So you are faced with re-inventing the wheel yourself, or finding a way to get training. Believe me, training saves time, even years.
I speak from experience. I spent years getting training in a specific field (theater), I was focused, but it was not easy to turn away from other phases of that gift. Fortunately along the way I had theatrical professors that had us draw in class and sing and build sets. That was very fulfilling. My thanks to all the true teachers out there who prepare us and guide us, however stubborn and one tracked we may be at the time. It all gathers in our basket and does us good.
I do love acting and the stage, but I found real delight when in the 1980's I found Recordings for the Blind (now Recordings for the Blind & Dyslexic). I started volunteering there after work and did so for years. However, some things are just not Dickens! They are not meant to be read out loud, not exactly music to the ears. The people who work there are dedicated and they are sensitive to making it a good experience for the volunteers. They often delighted me by reserving books of poetry for me, and other literature.
I am so happy to say that they are still that way today. I think I've mentioned before that I started reading there again last year. I'll read anything for them, no problem, I love doing it. A couple of weeks ago I read about ten pages of bibliography, last week I read "Oedipus the King." It all levels out, I never get bored. This keeps that part of my life going! Now I've sent out a couple of demos because, well, wouldn't it be wonderful to do what you love and get paid too! (but I won't leave RFBD until the turn out the lights)

Note: the waterlily is because it's beautiful, the puppy is for Paint and Draw Together.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Mic finally works!!!

I have a fairly expensive mic, Samson G-track. After WEEKS of fiddling and going on line to try and get it fixed, and trying everything under the sun, it works!! The last suggestion from a tech was to try a different cord or cable. Well, it's kind of strange looking cable, where am I going to find another one? BINGO, yesterday at the washer I looked down at the box of electronic flotsom and saw an unused cable from something-or-other that looked like it had the right weird end on it. Short story: it did and I spent yesterday evening re-recording all my demo pieces without having to yell over the loud buzzy sound. Oh, you don't know how good it was to look at that wave and see a smooth line except when I was talking! And then to play it back and hear just me. I am truly grateful for this. I had been praying a lot and trying to open up and be a receiver for all those angel-messages that are always coming our way. Well, duh, of course you hear when you listen, Dianne. Sheesh. Another thing that takes practice.
Today a friend at the sound studio burnt the CD for me from a flash drive (my laptop refuses to acknowledge anything round and flat), so, in a minute or so I am off to the post office to mail my new demo out! THIS is the voice part of voice-painter.
When I get home I think I will continue recording a book I love that isn't available in audio form. YeeHaa!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Patience and persistence with myself

While trying to get up to speed on supporting yourself with things you love to do, it seems sometimes you have to do other things too. Like housework and looking for other kinds of work that have an actual income. Never lose sight of the value of what you do. That's the first step toward others valuing it also. What we do is not just an expression of who we are, but where we come from, who created us. We reflect all those good qualities, and express them in our lives. That's our main job. Our employment.
Sometimes that takes practice, and continuing to learn and expand our expression is absolutely necessary. That's living.
Lately I've been wrestling with these ideas and trying to open my thought to the new, while keeping in practice on the familiar. Aside from looking for a paying job before the money runs out, trying new things continues. I've taken three beginning/intermediate watercolor classes with Ron Pratt and he taught us how wonderfully intense color can be in the medium. It was great! I also enjoy the Artist Challenges that are available in blogs like Rookie Painter , and Paint and Draw Together. Having a challenge set by someone entirely different from yourself makes you stretch yourself in directions you might not have taken. Not just in subject matter, but palette and style. Some results are not all you hoped they could be: see the lemons above. But you learn a LOT. It can lead you in new directions, it's worth trying it again. In this case these colors provided a challenge, especially their lighter values. This resulted in the Japanese scroll vignette (I think it's up in the right corner, I can't seem to get the pictures to go where I want them within the blog).
I didn't try to duplicate the script on the scroll, that felt too much like plagiarism, so I did an "impression" of it. In a scroll like this the calligrapher's hand is as much a part of the poetry as the words, and it wasn't my poem. The picture is 8X12 inches.
The daises are a rather European touch, a peony would have been more appropriate, but this is the way it turned out! The purpose was the paler palette, perhaps I will do it again with a more strongly colored flower later. The contrast could be very interesting.
Well, it's going to be a short day today, I have to get up about 4:30AM to get to Sacramento by 8AM for a placement test, the next step in trying to find some income.